Are There Changes in Kentucky Law Regarding Bond?

by Michael Bouldin on July 28, 2011

YES, HB 463, which has now been codified in KRS 431.066, has significantly changed the way Judges in Kentucky should evaluate the bond for individuals charged with a crime. The new bond should allow most inmates to be eligible for an OR (own recognizance) bond.

Once an individual is arrested, pretrial release officers conduct interviews with defendants to assess their criminal history, if they are a threat to public safety or a high-flight risk, among other things.

Additionally, if a Defendant is incarcerated pretrial may be in jail for days or weeks and then, when the issue is resolved, will be given credit for time served and be released from jail. Meanwhile, taxpayers are responsible for the incarceration costs.

Based on this information, pretrial officers then give assessment risks — either low, moderate or high — to judges, so they can set bond. Those considered low risk are entitled to unsecured bonds, signing a document stating they will return to court, and can be released on their own recognizance. Judges may also put limited conditions in place such as electronic monitoring.

People labeled moderate risk are also to be released on an unsecured bond or on their own recognizance with limited conditions. Judges can set monetary or property bond and conditions for people deemed high risk.

Defendants accused of domestic violence, sexual offenses or offenses involving firearms will face monetary bonds. Judges may also set a monetary or property bond for low- and moderate-risk individuals if they put it in writing and give their reasoning, he said. Valid reasons include a judge determining an individual is a high-flight risk or a danger to another person.

Those assessed for cash bonds will also be given bond credit. For each day served in jail, $100 will be applied toward bond credit. So, if someone had a $500 bond, they can earn enough credit in five days to be released, he said. People serving time for unpaid fines will also earn a $50 a day credit for time served behind bars.

The new laws should have a great impact on pretrial release in Kentucky. If you have been charged and have questions about your bond, you shoudl call pretrial in the county. if you want to consult with a criminal defense attorney, call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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